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One of my final points is that the February deal should be put back on the table. That is the simple fact of the matter. That deal represents the best opportunity to reach an agreement, as the shadow Minister, my right hon. Friend Tessa Jowell, said.
The Minister said that the Government have proposed a 15-month deal for those who volunteer for redundancy, and from a negotiating point of view I can understand why that might seem attractive, but it will not be attractive to the many low-paid civil servants who work in my constituency. They will see it as a pearl-handed revolver to the temple, implying that they can take 12 months' pay if redundancy is compulsory, but 15 months' pay if they go quietly. That is not fair to civil servants.
I gave an example when I intervened on the Minister. Let us take a 42-year-old civil servant with 20 years' service-I have chosen that age because it is, almost, close to mine. Under the current, pre-February deal, which is in place because, owing to legal action, the legislation has not changed, that individual would receive £60,000. Under the February proposals that the Labour Government put forward, that individual would have received £58,000. Under this Bill, they would receive £20,000 in compulsory terms or £25,000 if they went voluntarily.
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